SOMERS, N.Y. - The driver of the Honda Accord that was involved in a three-vehicle crash on Monday, Oct. 31, died Wednesday at Westchester Medical Center, family members say.
Martin Nolletti Jr., 60, of Somers, was driving southbound on Route 139 when police say a school bus that had just pulled out of Somers High School crossed the double-yellow line.
State Trooper Melissa McMorris, public information officer for Troop K in Poughkeepsie, said that according to the incident report, when the school bus failed to keep right, it struck the Accord, causing it to spin out of control and hit a second bus head-on. Both buses were “fully loaded” with students, she said. Three students were taken to local hospitals and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
State police said there was no evidence of drugs or alcohol among any of the drivers and that no charges or traffic violations have been issued at this time. The investigation is still ongoing, McMorris said.
Nolletti Jr. and his passenger were taken to Westchester Medical Center. According to Nolletti Jr.'s sister, Lynette, he was giving his friend a ride to the train station. She said the passenger was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released.
Lynette, who lives close to the scene of the accident, said she went to it as soon as she heard what happened.
“My brother’s car was totaled,” she said. “And my brother is a little old man in the car—my brother does not drive fast.”
Lynette Nolletti said her older brother’s condition sharply declined after being taken to Westchester Medical Center as a result of the extensive injuries caused by the accident. His injuries included a broken femur, a collapsed lung, internal bleeding, a broken back and several broken ribs.
“My brother was awake for the first couple of days,” she said. He then went into a coma.
Despite undergoing surgery to reset bones and stop internal bleeding, doctors said his body could not come back from the trauma and he had entered kidney failure.
“He was suffering, so it was time,” Lynette said. “There was too much internal bleeding. God did what he felt was best.”
Lynette described her brother, whom friends and loved ones called “Marty,” as a “happy-go-lucky guy” who was in good health. He was not married and had no children. A semi-retired golf professional, he still took groups out onto local courses.
Nolletti Jr. was born in Portchester and raised in Mamaroneck. He spent part of his high school career at Archbishop Stepinac High School on an athletic scholarship. He ultimately graduated from Mamaroneck High School and began his golf career working at the driving range concession at Mohansic Golf Course, owned by his father, Martin Nolletti Sr., who was an assistant golf professional for 52 years.
After that, he worked as the director of outside operations at Hanah International Resort in Margaretville, N.Y. His first stint as an assistant golf professional was at the Heritage Country Club in Charlton, Mass.
He worked as an assistant golf professional for the rest of his career throughout New York and Massachusetts. Both he and his father were well-known in the golf community, Lynette said, and have been featured in golf magazines and other publications. Nolletti Jr. was featured in the Times Herald Record, Golf Digest and USA Today. He also participated in several teams and competitions throughout his career, Lynette said. He most recently taught at the Baldwin Place Golf Center on Route 6.
Lifelong friend Frank Pallone described Nolletti Jr. as a fun-loving and easy-going person who enjoyed people.
“He was somebody who always tried to help his friends and other people,” Pallone said.
Lynette said she feels initial descriptions of the crash implied that her brother was at fault. Lynette said her brother told her his account of the accident while he was still awake in the days immediately after and said the bus entered his lane.
“He said, ‘His bumper was across the line. So whether he hit me or I hit him doesn’t matter,’” Lynette told The Somers Record. “He said, ‘He was in my lane. Now we’re down to technicalities. All I know was there was a bus in my lane.’”
Memorial services for Martin Nolletti Jr. will be held at Clark’s Funeral Home in Katonah Friday Nov. 18 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The family asks that donations be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in lieu of sending flowers.